After his father’s best friend passed away, Bill Gerlich spent several months helping the man’s elderly wife clean out her husband’s belongings and complete repairs around the house.
“She didn’t have any siblings or children, so I stepped up and helped her,” Gerlich said. “I don’t know what she would have done if I didn’t help.”
That experience led Gerlich to leave the corporate world behind and open Gerlich Home Transitions in 2012. He operates the licensed and insured business out of his home in Marion.
“My emphasis is helping people stay in their homes,” Gerlich said. “I really saw a need for people who don’t have children or whose children live out of state.”
Gerlich, who previously worked in the fields of industrial technology and construction management, helps people with the maintenance and upkeep of their homes, inside and out.
“I can do plumbing, painting, lawn care, whatever needs to be done,” he said. “I will take care of the smaller items that most contractors don’t want to bother with.”
Gerlich will make updates his clients need to continue living independently in their homes, like installing taller toilet stools, lever faucets and door handles, or wheelchair accessible doorways.
One of Gerlich’s two daughters is wheelchair bound, which he said helps him understand the adjustments he can make to give his clients better accessibility, from a total bathroom remodel to reconfiguring the furniture.
“Sometimes the simplest things can make a difference to a person in a wheelchair,” he said.
Additionally, with a home-based weld shop, Gerlich has the capability to fabricate custom grab bars and railings. He recently designed a custom handrail for a client in her late 80s who wanted a little extra stability coming up the steps to her condo.
When his clients decide to downsize or move into assisted living, Gerlich helps prepare their homes for sale, tackling jobs like wallpaper removal, touching up woodwork, and manicuring the lawn to provide some extra curb appeal.
Gerlich also provides property maintenance services and conducts periodic walk-throughs for clients who spend part of the year at a second home.
Gerlich relies primarily on referrals and word of mouth to market his services.
“I’m not in this to make a killing,” Gerlich said. “My goal is to make people happy so they want to pass on my name.”
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